(l to r) Stuart Laughon, Ira Andrews '59,
Frank "Pepper" Laughon'59
Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren is pleased to announce that
construction will begin on a new freshmen residence hall in August 2010. Lindgren
also shared that the new freshmen residence hall will be named in honor of Ira L.
Andrews III ’59, professor emeritus of religious studies and retired dean of students
This 108-bed, suite-style facility, which will border the football field, will include
a 1,500 square foot common room for academic and student organization use, study
areas, a gaming/TV room, a laundry facility, a staff apartment and a community porch
Lindgren said, “This project is a result of the very generous gifts from two valued
members of the R-MC community, Frank E. ‘Pepper’ and Stuart Laughon.” He added that
the residence hall, scheduled to open in August 2011, will complement the existing
Freshmen Village located across the street and provide additional gathering spaces
for all students. “We are deeply grateful to the Laughons for their longstanding
commitment to this wonderful college and hope that their philanthropy will encourage
others to support this significant project,” said Lindgren.
Laughon, R-MC Class of 1959, is the Chairman Emeritus and CEO of Richmond Cold Storage,
a company that operates twelve refrigerated and dry-storage warehouses along the
Mid-Atlantic States. He is also founder and president of Flare Corporation, an international
consulting firm for refrigerated warehousing and distribution.
Laughon and his wife Stuart have been actively engaged with Randolph-Macon. He serves
on the Board of Trustees, Student Affairs Committee, the Athletic Committee and
as chair of the Greek Alumni Advisory Board. In 2003, the Laughons established the
Pepper and Stuart Laughon Commitment to Community Award, which is presented annually
to an R-MC student organization or individual making significant contributions to
enrich the lives of others. In 2007, Laughon received the Distinguished Alumni Award
for his service to the college.
“Stuart and I are delighted to support this new living-learning space for the outstanding
students at Randolph-Macon,” said Laughon. He added, “Naming this residence hall
after Ira Andrews makes this even more meaningful. Ira, who many of us refer to
as ‘Mr. Randolph-Macon,’ is one of the college’s most well-respected and beloved
members and exemplifies the very best of this fine institution. We are honored to
have a role in paying tribute to Ira for his lifelong contributions to R-MC.”
Andrews’ life and contributions to the college were celebrated at a dedication and
ribbon-cutting ceremony, held on May 28, to commemorate a new seating area established
in his name, which is positioned along the Janet Harvey Trivette ’78 Alumni Walkway.
At the ceremony, Lindgren said that “Ira left an indelible mark on the past, present
and future of R-MC and the Ashland community. His inquiring mind, ethical grounding
and compassionate heart permeate everything he does and every individual he touches;
no one is left unchanged for the better for having encountered this fine man.” Andrews,
who served as R-MC’s dean of students for 36 years, was also awarded an Honorary
Doctor of Humanities Degree from Randolph-Macon during its Commencement ceremony
on May 29, 2010.
Andrews’ collective experience at R-MC spans more than 50 years. As a student, he
was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society and was
a member of Clericus and the R-MC Glee Club. He also served as a Resident Assistant
in Thomas Branch for two years. After graduating, Andrews earned a master of divinity
degree from Emory University, where he was elected to Omicron Delta Kappa. He returned
to R-MC as a professor of religious studies and was later appointed to serve as
dean of students. He worked admirably through historic milestones such as the college’s
change from an all-male campus to a co-educational one, and served under five R-MC
presidents. He is also an ordained Methodist minister.
“Randolph-Macon has and continues to be such an important part of my life,” said
Andrews. “I am deeply honored and moved by this most generous act, and the impact
it will have on future generations.”
R-MC Campus Master Plan Begins
The Ira L. Andrews Freshmen Residence Hall is the first of many new projects planned
for Phase One of the R-MC Campus Master Plan. Currently, the college is working
with the Town of Ashland to relocate Smith Street. The road, which currently runs
between the men’s varsity soccer field and the football practice field, will be
moved about a block north, allowing for the expansion of athletic facilities.
Once Smith Street is relocated, the baseball field will be moved to the corner of
the college property, where the Kappa Sigma Fraternity house and the old Smith Street
previously resided. The move will improve the experience of athletes and fans by
de-coupling the football and baseball fields. The football field will be moved to
a north-south position. Once additional funds are raised, a new stadium to surround
the football field will be built.
Also planned is the relocation of the college’s tennis courts. The brand-new courts
will still be located on the west side of the railroad tracks, but further south,
near the Ashland train station. The new location will also provide local residents
with a venue for tennis that will be maintained by the college. The design of the
courts was completed in December 2009 and construction began in spring 2010. A practice
field is planned for the space currently occupied by the existing tennis courts.
Eventually, several new residence halls for seniors will join the Ira Andrews Freshmen
Residence Hall. Renderings are currently in the final stages of development. In
2009, renovations to classroom spaces in Fox Hall were completed. The renovations
include refurbishing classrooms with new furniture, upgrading audio visual equipment,
wireless capabilities and lighting, and installing new windows and doors.